Starting a Beauty Business

We caught up with Lucy who received an Opportunities Award grant to start her own beauty therapy business.

Lucy is sat in the beauty therapy room at Stroud College, where she has been renting a space one day a week since graduating in summer 2019. She is a hairdresser, as well as a newly-qualified massage and beauty therapist.

“Since my teen years I have struggled with depression, which wasn’t helped by addiction. I then went through the Nelson Trust and when I came out, I started a one-year massage course and a one-year beauty course.”

“Really, I did it the odd way around! Most people do beauty and then go on to do massage, but I started with massage, and then did beauty. Mainly because I realised how tiring massage can be – if you’re just doing massage for 8 hours a day, your seventh or eighth client isn’t going to be getting the same quality massage as your first, and I’d be so tired! So being able to break it up by offering other treatments is really good.”

In 2019, Lucy received an Opportunities Award grant to buy products and equipment, to get her business started.

“I was able to get storage boxes, spray tanning equipment, wax kits, facial products, a massage chair; hairdressing scissors can be £100 – that’s a lot of money to me. I put off cutting my friends’ hair for ages because my old scissors were no good – it’s like a chef having good knives, you can be an amazing hairdresser, but if you use terrible scissors, you’re going to give a bad haircut.

“I’m not full time yet. I’ve been doing Wednesdays here, as well as some other appointments in the week. It feels like there is a lot to do to set myself up as being self-employed, but it’s what I’ve always wanted to do, so it’s worth it. I think why work for someone else, when you can work for yourself? It’s given me more freedom.”

“Also, it’s nice to make someone else feel good about themselves, it kind of helps me as well.”

Lucy had heard of Barnwood Trust through a few friends and family, as well as through her regular hairdressing client Charlotte, who happened to work for Barnwood Trust.

“Obviously, as you do when you have your hair done, you speak about your work. I thought about calling for a little while, and there was a part of me that was like ‘I don’t really deserve that.’ But one day Charlotte just called them and then handed me the phone! I feel very honoured and privileged to have been awarded that grant.”

Lucy’s ultimate goal is to regularly offer massage treatments at festivals, as she continues to grow her business.

“I love festivals! I managed to do ones in August and September, and from doing those I’ve now got into one next May, and one that’s in August too. Maybe in the future I’ll want to settle, but for now I quite like doing festivals and wellbeing fairs.”

And her advice to anyone thinking of applying for a grant from Barnwood Trust?

“I would say that even if you don’t feel like maybe you’d get it, or you deserve it, it’s worth applying because I would go as far to say it has changed my life.”

About the Opportunities Award

The Opportunities Award opens up exciting new possibilities – such as training, equipment or clothing that may help you towards a job, volunteering or setting up a new business.  It can also be used to help with materials for a hobby or equipment for a sport you enjoy.

Visit our grants pages for more information